Friday, November 22, 2013

My Reason to be Brave

I have started a new blog called "Finding the Sunshine" about my battle with depression. I am hoping that by sharing a little bit of what I am going through, I'll be able to help somebody, somewhere. Please feel free to check it out and tell others about it. 

Love, Rach

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Be still, and know that I am God.

"However bewildering this all may be, these afflictions are some of the realities of mortal life, and there should be no more shame in acknowledging them than in acknowledging a battle with high blood pressure or the sudden appearance of a malignant tumor."

When I was sixteen years old, I was diagnosed with MDD or Depression. I have battled with it since.

"So how do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. As President Monson said to the Relief Society sisters so movingly last Saturday evening: “That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there.” Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart."

The last six months on my mission were incredibly difficult, but the best experience of my life. I've been honorably released and sent home to battle my depression. Something that I've learned on my mission is about the ENABLING power of the Atonement. The Atonement doesn't just cover sins or mistakes. Jesus Christ is the only one who knows EXACTLY how I am feeling right now. I testify that our Savior, Jesus Christ knows us all individually. He is the reason I could get up every morning, and the reason I keep going. I know this church is true, with all of my heart. I wish I was still in Washington, but the Lord has different plans in mind for me. I'm ready to serve.

Love, Rachel

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 27

Hello all!
This week was pretty tough, not going to lie. Sister Goble (pronounced like "global" without the beginnning l" are still trying to adjust to each other and each other's teaching styles. But, we have definitely made major strides in getting to know each other better and getting along better.
We had a very interesting lesson with a former investigator this week. We have been texting everyone to see if they want to meet up and still learn. They only respond via text, no wonder missionaries are going more digital. But, this former named Danil (from Russia) responded and said he would like to meet up. As soon as we got there, we knew it wasn't going to go well. We started to try and teach him and he just had a rebuttal for everything we said. Finally, I got so frustrated that I said, "Danil, WHY did you agree to meet up with us?" He says, "So that I can teach you the truth." We wrapped the lesson up pretty quickly from there. He said the closing prayer, and prayed that "We would find the truth and no longer be blind." It was a very, very frustrating experience. I have never felt so disrespected in my entire life. He didn't respect us enough to not waste our time. But, the lesson I learned from this event was that without a doubt, this church is true. I know it. I felt beaten down as a missionary and as a person, but then I remembered that people even rejected our Savior, Jesus Christ.
We had a baptism on Saturday! Erika got baptized. It was SUCH an awesome, spiritual experience. I was sooo happy for her. (And, miracle of miracles, Sister Hehl got to come!!!!!!!! I was SO happy to see that girl. She truly is one of my best friends.) At the end of her baptism, Erika shared her testimony and it is one of the strongest I have ever heard. I am so thankful that Heavenly Father has allowed me to come here and to meet these people and feel of their faith.
Something sad happened this weekend. Kat and Joe (Dave and Jessica) moved :( After working with them for so long, it just about broke my heart to have to say goodbye to them, especially since they still haven't made the necessary changes to come to Christ. I think I now Know to a TINY extent what Heavenly Father must feel like when we have the truth but still choose to disobey the commandments. He wants us to choose the right, but we all have agency. I want Kat and Joe to change, but they have agency. All I can do is share the truth and pray for them.
I'm so grateful to be a missionary. It is one of the hardest things I've ever done, but it is amazing. I know that this church is true, and that our Savior Jesus Christ leads it.
Love always, Sister Morrow

Monday, October 21, 2013

What week are we on anyways? Twenty six?

Hello family and friends!
Let me tell you about the wonderful Erika!
I am so stoked for her. She is absolutely amazing. When our District Leader interviewed her, he asked, "Are you sure you aren't already a member?!" She is absolutely wonderful.
The rest of this week was decent. I'm just trying to help Sister Goble get situated in the Branch. Everyone really likes her so far! We are gonna work hard and be a great team, I can just feel it. :)
So, I wanted to share a spiritual thought this week! So all the YSA missionaries are on a rotation where we get to go to institute. This week was our week to go, and it was awesome. We were talking about the Book of Mormon and Nephi asking his brothers if they remembered things. The institute teacher showed us the hebrew word for remember. The literal translation of the word is "Our first leader who was nailed in the hand and bled." If that translation is amazing! The word "remember" even reminds us of our Savior.
There was something else I was thinking about this week. Yesterday for a rest hymn we sang "A Poor Wayfaring Man." There is a line in the second verse that says "I gave him all." I was thinking about I give Him all? Too often I find myself making God's work about me. I don't know if it is completely possible to give Him all as a mortal being, but I sure am working on it. I look forward to the day when I can truly have an eye single to His glory. A lofty, but worthy goal, wouldn't you say? :)
Well, that's about all for this week. We are staying busy working with Less-Actives, Kat and Joe, Yerry, and Erika as well as trying to find new investigators. I love being a missionary! I can't believe that I'm a third of the way done with my mission!!! That's craziness. I don't look forward to the day when I'll have to take my badge off. But, until then, Hurrah for Israel! Love you all so much.
Love, Sister Morrow
Rachel and & recently transferred...Sister Hehl


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 25

Additional note: The only other info we were able to gather from Rachel is that her new companion is Sis Goble.
Dear loved ones,
I dunno even know where to start. This will probably be a short email because there is so much to write that I'm only gonna write a little bit. That makes sense, right? ;)
Drumroll please......
I am staying in the Mirror Lake Branch, and Sister Hehl is being transferred. I am so glad I am staying here, I really don't feel like my work is done. However, I am NOT happy to be separated from Sister Hehl. We had such a solid team going. But, I know the Lord calls us to go where He needs us, and obviously Sister Hehl is needed somewhere else. I am REALLY gonna miss that girl.
As far as the work goes, we had a crazy week. We now have four people on date for baptism:
Yerry: I think I talked about him last time. From Puerto Rico, super awesome. On date for November 9th.
Erika: A friend of a girl in the branch. On date for NEXT WEEKEND! She is soooo prepared to be baptized. She has been called "half Mormon" all her life because she is such good friends with members. I am so so excited for her!
Kat and Joe (Dave and Jessica): Theyyyy''''rrrrrreeeeee back! Long story short, we got them to come to church this weekend and they ended up going to a fireside about near death experiences. Joe has had a near death experience, and the fireside really touched him. He called us up that night and said, "I just want to let you guys know that I'm ready." So, they are back on date for November 16th!
It's been an awesome week, a busy week, and a bittersweet week. I am so grateful to be a missionary and for the Lord's help. I'm learning more and more every single day that I can't do ANYTHING without Him. I love you all!
Love, Sister Morrow

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 24

Hello all!

So, this week was a tough one. I still wasn't feeling good, and ended up staying in on Wednesday. That was tough on Sister Hehl. I felt pretty badly about it. It was also hard because we have zero investigators. BUT! We have two new investigators! We've only met them once though...haha. Their names are Niko and Yerryban (Jerry, in English). Niko doesn't look super promising because he hardcore stood us up at a lesson we had planned yesterday. But Yerry is from Puerto Rico and is awesome! Hopefully we will get to teach him this week.

The highlight of my week was conference, of course. Conference = Christmas on a mission. My favorite talk was the talk Elder Holland gave. I bawled my eyes out. I've never had a talk that was like this one. I'm pretty sure Elder Holland wrote it just for me. For those of you who don't know, I was diagnosed with Depression when I was sixteen. I have dealt with it since, and it has been a trial, but it has strengthened my testimony so much. When I feel at my lowest, I know that the Savior is there with me. As Elder Holland put it, "When the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and look forward to better days ahead." It strengthens me so much to know that my Savior knows what the bitter cup tastes like. He loves me, and each of us, and is on our side no matter what. Depression isn't easy to handle, but with the Savior on my side, I can do all things. (Phil 4:13)

Another thing I really loved about conference was President Uchtdorf's talk. "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." I LOVE that. Too often I get wrapped up and sucked into my doubts and blinded by them. Heavenly Father doesn't give us doubts. Satan does. We should doubt our doubts are valid before we start doubting the faith that God gave us.

This is the last week of this transfer. :( I have no clue what is going to happen, so I'm just gonna make this the best week ever. I have LOVED serving in the Mirror Lake YSA Branch. I love these kids with all of my heart. This branch is "home." But, I will go where the Lord wants me to go! Each area I have left I have felt like my heart was going to break, but I end up loving my new area just as much as my last area.

I love you all, pray for you all, and hope all is well.

Love always,

Sister Morrow

Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 23

Hello all!
So this last week was full of ups and downs..

...the best "up" being that Jennifer got baptized on Saturday!
It was kinda stressful haha. She was late getting to the baptism...she forgot a towel...she took 15 minutes getting ready...but it turned out beautifully in the end. :) President Eaton was the one who baptized her! I gave a talk on baptism, which went pretty well. (In front of my mission pressure.) Jennifer is so sweet, and it was so wonderful to watch her be baptized.
With the baptism of Jennifer, we are back to ZERO investigators! Blank slate, I guess! Time to start tracting hardcore! It'll be fun. :)
This weekend I got pretty sick, which was a bummer. I had a bad sore throat, headache, stuffy nose, ear aches...just a bad cold. So, Sister Hehl and I did splits. I stayed at Sister Grisham's, and Sister Hehl went out with two other sisters from the branch. Sister Hehl is such a hard worker. I'm so blessed to have her as my comp.
Going to the Relief Society Broadcast this weekend was THE BEST! I am so so so so so excited for General Conference. Even as a missionary, I still need to fill my spiritual well every once in a while. I loved that the focus of the meeting was covenants. I became very overwhelmed with gratitude as I realized how blessed I am to have made sacred covenants in the temple at the age of 19. I'm so grateful for the temple. I miss it so much! Hopefully we will be able to go to the Seattle temple once or twice in the next year...
So funny story, Jennifer figured out my name from my scriptures, and now she calls me Rachel. Yesterday, in Gospel Principles, I made a comment and she commented after me. "I really agree with what Rachel said..." Everyone started giggling. I heard some people behind me say, "Her name is Rachel?!" You know you're a missionary when your first name is some big secret....
One last thought. During personal study this week, I read from some old Ensigns we have. The particular one I was studying was from the October conference of 2010. David M. McConkie gave a really great talk called "Gospel Learning and Teaching." My favorite quote from the talk: "Successful gospel teachers love the gospel. They are excited about it. And because they love their students, they want them to feel as they feel and to experience what they have experienced. To teach the gospel is to share your love of the gospel." This really made me step back and look at my teaching style. Am I teaching out of love? How can I develop the attitude necessary to be a successful gospel teacher? Well, Elder McConkie answered my questions.

1. Immerse yourself in the scriptures
2. Apply the things you learn to your life
3. Seek Heaven's help
4. Act on promptings you receive
This talk made me realize that to be a good teacher, I need to be a good student. I need to absorb the gospel, and love it with all my heart. :)
I love you all, and I am so thankful to be a missionary. Hurrah for Israel!
Love, Sister Morrow